I had stalled in my own experiments of visualising links between drafts via iThoughts because, while the results were visually appealing, I didn’t actually get much practical value from them and soon stopped using the actions I’d built. Hearing more about other people’s use cases helps me to see new/other possibilities for my own.
Epiphany: I imagine this kind of graphing becomes particularly useful if you practise the kind of atomised note-taking (one draft per thought) that Zettelkasten encourages…
For example: if you’re making notes from an article, with a “structure” or “meta” note that essentially serves as an index for all of the notes from that article, graphing links provides a) a way to zoom out and visualise all of the notes linked directly to that article; b) a map of connections between the article’s individual notes and notes related to other articles/topics/themes/subjects. That sounds really useful, and sounds like it might support further discovery/insight.
Side note: this is one of the principles I feel like I’m in-between on— I’m used to a single draft containing a range of thoughts on any particular subject or topic. So all of my notes from one article/text/whatever would typically sit in a single draft, with quotes, my responses to those quotes, other thoughts, captured actions, etc. But I’m starting to see the benefit of breaking things down further, particularly since a draft is essentially Draft’s smallest functional unit, and cross-linking seems to more useful when linking at the level of the smallest functional unit.
@martinpacker / @Andreas_Haberle: For current graphing efforts, is there any way to indicate the number of connections a single node has (beyond the density of visible connection lines)? I think Roam-like graphs use node-size as a variable to indicate density of connections, right? Alternatively perhaps some way to manually specify/indicate “meta” nodes (perhaps based on a tag or text token within the draft content), where “meta” nodes could have a specific colour? Does any of that sound useful to consider?
Since we first started this graphing conversation, I’ve been thinking about setting up a “topics” or “top pages” workspace containing a draft for each of the key themes/subjects I’m interested in. Jump-off points for note clusters/networks. Seems obvious, but that’s not the way I’ve been used to taking notes. Up until recently, my “active thinking via writing” process has been modelled on the practice of revising towards a final finished product (evolving “drafts” of the same emerging idea) married with supporting information/references.
I think this was my principle barrier in appreciating the value of a network graph. Funny thing is, I’ve done a fair amount of reading about this over the past year, and I understand the appeal of atomic note-taking, but I only just connected this with a bit of reflection on the way I actually work.